October 22nd, 2016

TECH Tip: How to Reduce Run-Out with Seating Dies

USAMU Hump Day Reloading TIR run-out concentricity seating die stem

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. Recently the USAMU’s reloading gurus looked at the subject of cartridge run-out and what can be done to produce straighter ammo. Tasked with producing thousands of rounds of ammo for team members, the USAMU’s reloading staff has developed smart methods for improving concentricity, even with budget=price dies. For other hand-loading tips, visit the USAMU Facebook page next Wednesday for the next installment.

Minimizing Runout with Standard Seating Dies

This USAMU article explains how to set up standard bullet seating dies dies to minimize Total Indicated Run-out (TIR). The loading process is described using a single-stage press since most handloaders have one. A high-quality run-out gauge is essential for obtaining consistent, accurate results.

Having sized, primed, and charged our brass, the next step is bullet seating. Many approaches are possible; one that works well follows. When setting up a standard seating die, insert a sized, trimmed case into the shellholder and fully raise the press ram. Next, back the seating stem out and screw the die down until the internal crimping shoulder touches the case mouth.

Back the die out ¼ turn from this setting to prevent cartridge crimping. Next, lower the press ram and remove the case. Place a piece of flat steel (or window glass, which is quite flat) on the shellholder and carefully raise the ram.

Place tension on the die bottom with the flat steel on the shellholder. This helps center the die in the press threads. Check this by gently moving the die until it is well-centered. Keeping light tension on the die via the press ram, secure the die lock ring. If one were using a match style, micrometer-type seating die, the next step would be simple: run a charged case with bullet on top into the die and screw the seating stem down to obtain correct cartridge OAL.

However, with standard dies, an additional step can be helpful. When the die has a loosely-threaded seating stem, set the correct seating depth but don’t tighten the stem’s lock nut. Leave a loaded cartridge fully raised into the die to center the seating stem in the die. Then, secure the stem’s lock nut. Next, load sample cartridges and check them to verify good concentricity.

USAMU Hump Day Reloading TIR run-out concentricity seating die stem

One can also experiment with variations such as letting the seating stem float slightly in the die to self-center, while keeping correct OAL. The run-out gauge will show any effects of changes upon concentricity. However, this method has produced excellent, practical results as evidenced by the experiment cited previously. These results (TIR Study 2) will reproduced below for the reader’s convenience.

First, however, let’s examine run-out figures of some factory-loaded match ammunition. This should give readers who are new to TIR gauges some perspective about the TIR ranges one might encounter.

TIR Study 1: 50 rounds Lake City M852 Match 7.62mm
(168 gr. Sierra MatchKings)
0.000” – 0.001” = 2%
0.001” – 0.002” = 30%
0.002” – 0.003” = 16%
0.003” – 0.004” = 22%
0.004” – 0.005” = 14%
0.005” – 0.006” = 14%
0.006” – 0.007” = 0%
0.007” – 0.008” = 2%

TIR Study 2: 50 rounds of .308 match ammo loaded using carefully-adjusted standard dies, vs. 50 using expensive “Match” dies from the same maker.

Standard dies, TIR:
0.000” — 0.001” = 52%;
0.001”– 0.002” = 40%;
0.002”– 0.003” = 8%.
None greater than 0.003”.

Lesser-quality “Match” dies, TIR:
0.000”– 0.001” = 46%;
0.001” — 0.002” = 30%;
0.002” — 0.003” = 20%;
0.003” — 0.004” = 4%.

Note: both samples were loaded using the O-Ring method, i.e. with a rubber O-Ring placed under the locking ring of the Full-length sizing die to allow that die to float.

These tips are intended to help shooters obtain the best results from inexpensive, standard loading dies. Especially when using cases previously fired in a concentric chamber, as was done above, top-quality match dies and brass can easily yield ammo with virtually *no* runout, given careful handloading.

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October 22nd, 2016

Try Barnes, Berger, and Nosler Bullets with Sample Packs

Bullet Proof Samples

Bullet Proof SamplesBullet Proof Samples offers 12-count packs of big-name bullets. This lets you try out many different bullet types without forking out big bucks for larger 50-ct or 100-ct boxes. Currently, Bullet Proof Samples offers projectiles from Barnes, Berger Bullets, and Nosler. The sample packs range in price from $5.99 (for 22-cal varmint bullets) to $17.49 (for a .30-Cal Barnes LRX). The Berger Bullets sample packs run $6.99 to $10.49, with the larger 7mm and 30-cal bullets at the upper end of the range. On a per-bullet cost basis, it’s still much cheaper to purchase a “normal” 100-ct box, but the sample packs let you “test before you invest.”

Berger’s Michelle Gallagher tells us: “We receive frequent feedback from shooters who are looking for bullets in small pack quantities so that they can test different bullets without the expense of buying full boxes. Bullet Proof Samples… has done an exceptional job of addressing that concern. Bullets are packaged in blister packs, so they can be clearly seen. Each pack contains 12 bullets. They offer Nosler, Barnes and Berger in a variety of weights and calibers. Bullet Proof Samples is not a Berger Bullets LLC company, but we are supportive of their efforts[.]”

Story idea by EdLongrange.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
October 21st, 2016

Nosler Introduces High-BC, Closed-Meplat RDF Match Bullets

Nosler RDF Bullet compound hybrid ogive tangent secant

Nosler has introduced a new line of RDF™ (Reduced Drag Factor) bullets that feature very high BCs, hybrid-type ogives, and tight, factory-closed meplats. Based on initial specs, Nosler’s new RDF bullets should be very competitive match projectiles for their respective bullet weights. Nosler claims its new RDF bullets have “the highest BCs and smallest, most consistent meplats of any hollow-point match bullet line on the market.” RDF projectiles will be initially offered in four calibers: .224, 6mm (.243), 6.5 mm (.264), and .308.

NEW Nosler RDF Bullets:

· 22 Cal 70 grain — G1 Ballistic Coefficient 0.416 | G7 Ballistic Coefficient 0.211
· 6mm 105 grain — BC field verification in process
· 6.5mm 140 grain — BC field verification in process
· 30 Cal 175 grain — G1 Ballistic Coefficient 0.536 | G7 Ballistic Coefficient 0.270

High-BC RDF Bullets Feature Compound (Hybrid-type) Ogive Profiles
Nosler designed RDF bullets to have very high BCs for flatter trajectories and reduced wind drift. Nosler achieved high BCs by adopting a modern hybrid-type compound ogive, which bridges traditional tangent and secant bullet shapes. Another benefit of the compound (hybrid-type) ogive, is that this shape is normally less sensitive to bullet seating depth than a pure VLD-style, secant ogive shape. That allows hand-loaders to seat off the lands and still get excellent accuracy, which can be maintained even as the throat moves out over time. RDF bullets also feature a long boat-tail for aerodynamic efficiency.

Nosler RDF Bullet compound hybrid ogive tangent secant

Factory-Closed Meplats — No More Trimming and Pointing Tips
Compared to conventional match bullets, Nosler’s RDF bullets look quite different because the tips have been tightly closed up at the factory. Nosler claims a a 40% average reduction in meplat size vs. conventional hollow-point bullets. With Nosler doing the work on the tips, hand-loaders no longer need to point and trim tips, a laborious task done to improve BC and, more importantly, to make BCs more consistent for every bullet in the box. Consistent BC translates to reduced vertical spread at long range.

John Nosler Talks about RDF Bullets:
“Long-range competitive shooting [is] one of the fastest-growing shooting activities in the world, and quality bullets are the cornerstone of the sport” said John Nosler, Executive V.P. for the company. “Our engineers were challenged with delivering a bullet that would drastically reduce aerodynamic drag and increase ballistic consistency, providing shooters with an indisputable advantage. What we achieved is a leap in match bullet technology….”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 10 Comments »
October 19th, 2016

Lapua Releases FREE Advanced 6DOF Ballistics Mobile APP

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone

Lapua, maker of premium brass, bullets, and loaded ammo, has released a new, state-of-the-art Ballistics program that runs on smartphones and mobile devices. The all-new Lapua Ballistics Mobile App is the first mobile ballistics app utilizing the 6DOF calculation model. 6DOF refers to “Six Degrees of Freedom”, referring to the multiple variables the software calculates. As explained below, a 6DOF solver can account for 3 components of movement PLUS 3 components of rotation. Of course, as with other ballistics software, the Lapua Mobile App looks at Bullet BC, velocity, and cross-wind effects. This software can also account for subtle, extreme long range factors such as the Coriolis Effect.

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone

CLICK HERE for FREE 28-page Ballistics App USER GUIDE

Notably, the new Lapua Ballistics App includes a library of up-to-date bullet profiles based on extensive field tests with Doppler Radar. Having an ultra-sophisticated 6DOF solver combined with Doppler Radar data makes the Lapua Mobile App one of the most accurate ballistics Apps on the market. Lapua Ballistics offers the latest, Doppler-proven Lapua cartridge and bullet data for you to combine with your firearm and local weather information. The App also includes the option to define custom bullets.

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone

The Lapua Ballistics App is available for Android and iOS smart phones and mobile devices free of charge. For more info, visit www.lapua.com/lapuaballisticsapp.

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone

6DOF, the most accurate calculation method. Lapua cartridge / bullet information. Distance, wind speed and angle. outputs numerical, reticle, table and graph views, metric and imperial values. Set Point Blank-range to different sight-in distances and impact windows. Define custom bullets ( BC G1 or G7 and Siacci method), Pre-set max 4 powder temperature.Sight-in-POI, Coriolis calculation

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 18th, 2016

How Plastic Shotshells Are Made

federal premium shotshell
Ever wonder how shotshells are manufactured? Here’s a step-by-step trip through the shotshell production process, courtesy Federal Premium. Hulls are created from plastic pellets, of various colors, depending on shotshell type and gauge. Starting with pellets, here’s how shotshells are made:

Step 1: Plastic pellets are melted down into a plastic tube.

federal shot shell

Step 2: In the extruding process the tube is heated, stretched, and cooled to form the hull. The machine that does this is called the “Riefenhauser” after the German engineer who built the first model.

federal shot shell shotgun

Step 3: Hulls are cut to length as they come off the Riefenhauser. They then move along to the next stage in the process.

federal shot shell shotgun

Step 4: The case head is stamped out of sheets of metal (brass or steel depending on shell type). A series of strikes of the stamp produces a fully-formed case head with flash-hole.

federal shot shell shotgun

Step 5: The hulls move to the primer insert and heading machine to get primers and case heads.

federal shot shell shotgun

Step 6: Still untouched by human hands, the shell moves on to the loader where it gets its powder charge, shot wad, and pellets.

federal shot shell shotgun

Step 7: The hulls are then crimped, labeled, and readied for inspection and packing.

federal shot shell shotgun

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
October 13th, 2016

Mesmerizing Million-Frames-Per-Second Bullet Video

Werner Mehl of Kurzzeit.com produced a 10-minute video for the 2010 SHOT Show. This amazing video became a huge hit on YouTube, with over 53,300 “likes”. If you haven’t viewed this mesmerizing video yet, check it out — you’ve probably never seen anything like it. This super-slow-motion video has been watched over 12.1 million times, making it one of the most popular shooting-related videos in history. Employing cameras recording at up to 1,000,000 (one million) frames per second, Mehl’s bullet flight video has been called “astounding”, “entrancing”, and a “work of art.” If you haven’t seen it yet, sit back and enjoy!

LINK: Kurzzeit.com Video System and BMC-19/PVM-21 Chronograph
Click the link above to learn more about Werner Mehl and his super-sophisticated camera systems that can record at 1,000,000 frames per second. On the same linked page you can learn about the advanced a href=”http://www.neconos.com/details12.htm” target=”_blank”>BMC-19chronograph (previously sold as the PVM-21) designed by Werner. Operating “all-infrared, all the time”, the BMC-19 is the best optical chronograph we have tested for very low light conditions, or very tricky light conditions.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
October 13th, 2016

Updated Load Manual for Accurate and Ramshot Powders

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32Western Powders has released its new, updated Load Manual covering Accurate and Ramshot powders. This FREE Reloading & Load Data Guide (Edition 6.0) contains thousands of recipes for handgun and rifle cartridges (plus shotshell and muzzle-loading info).

You’ll find load data for over 100 important rifle cartridges. The rifle cartridge listings are up to date — you’ll find the popular new mid-sized competition cartridges, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5×47 Lapua, along with many popular wildcat varmint cartridges, such as the 20 Vartarg, 20 Tactical, and 20 BR. Benchresters will also find recipes for the new LT 30 and LT 32 powders which have proven very accurate in the 30BR and 6PPC respectively.

Western Powders reloading guide LT30 LT32

>> GET FREE Western Powders Reloading & Load Data Guide 6.0

Here is just a partial listing of the 100+ rifle cartridge types covered in Western’s Load Data Guide 6.0:

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 12th, 2016

Paul Phillips’ Really Big Rifle for Really Long Range…

.375 Cheytac Bartlein KO2M ELR Extreme long range Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips Reports:

“Here is a sneak peak of my new barreled action for ELR. Compliments of Lethal Precision Arms. This Bartlein barrel is chambered in .375 Lethal Magnum. This massive cartridge will be launching the 405 grain Berger solids with a BC of 1.09 @ 3200+ FPS. The 38″ barrel is screwed on to a two-inch round .50 Cal Action from BAT Machine. This barreled action weighs 35 pounds and is approximately 48 inches long as shown in the photo. Yes that’s 35 pounds NOT counting stock, scope, muzzle brake, and bipod.

This barreled action is now being sent to McMillan Group International for custom in-letting and a custom Big Mac Stock optimized for Extreme Long Range. Stay tuned for more progress on this new ELR Beast for the next King of 2 Miles competition.”

Our buddy Paul Phillips is an outstanding shooter who has competed with the U.S. National Team and is currently a member of the U.S. Rifle Team F-TR. Paul has been interested in extreme long-range (ELR) shooting for quite some time, but the King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event this fall at Raton, NM really brought things into focus for Paul. A member of the K02M-winning Applied Ballistics squad, Paul now knows exactly what kind of hardware (and cartridge) it takes to win at two miles (and beyond). Now he’s ready for more, and he’s building a very special (and very big) rifle.

After his experience at the King of 2 Miles event, Paul decided he needed his own world-class rifle for the ultra-long-range game. For this rifle, Paul acquired a massive BAT action and a ginormous Bartlein barrel, finished at 38 inches. The .375 Lethal Magnum chambering is wildcat that starts with the 585 Hubel Express (HE) case, adapted for a Cheytac boltface. This jumbo cartridge can propel 405gr Berger solids at 3200+ FPS. The G1 BC of these prototype solids is a stunning 1.09. Note: Berger has no current plans to market this .375-caliber solid bullet — it is still in the prototype stage.

.375 Cheytac Bartlein KO2M ELR Extreme long range Paul Phillips

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing 9 Comments »
October 12th, 2016

Follow These Safety Fundamentals When Hand-Loading Ammo

seven reloading safety tips powder primers brownells manual

You can never be too safe when hand-loading your own ammunition. This helpful Brownells video outlines the Seven Fundamental Reloading Safety Tips. This is important information for novice hand-loaders and a good refresher for those with reloading experience!

Summary of the Seven Safety Tips:

1. Store your reloading supplies in a safe and dry location, away from children and away from any possible source of ignition. This includes keeping your powder and primers separate.

2. Get and use respected reloading manuals, especially for new cartridges. Start low and work up slowly while watching for warning signs of pressure and/or case fatigue.

3. Locate your reloading activity where you will not be distracted. If you get interrupted, stop. (Distractions will eventually lead to mistakes.)

4. Do NOT mix powders. Keep your powders clearly marked and dated. You can use masking tape to write the date on the container.

5. If you load the same cartridge type for different firearms, make sure your ammo headspaces properly in each gun.

6. Check cases frequently. Look for split necks, case head separation or other signs of fatigue and excessive pressure.

7. If reloading military brass, be aware that case capacity is usually reduced, and initial loads should be at least 10-15% lower than published data.

Here are some other tips that will help your avoid making costly mistakes (such as using the wrong powder, or undercharging a case):

  • Powder Type — Always double-check the label on your powder containers. After placing powder in the powder measure, put a piece of tape on the measure with the powder type written on it. Some guys write the powder type on a card and place that right in the hopper.
  • Scale Drift — Electronic balances can drift. If you are using a digital powder scale, calibrate the scale with a test weight every 50 rounds or so.
  • Case Fill — If you throw more than one charge at a time, look INSIDE every case before seating a bullet. Squib charges can be dangerous if you don’t notice them before firing the next round.
  • Progressive Presses — When using a progressive press, consider using an RCBS Lock-Out Die. This will detect a low charge and stop the machine. These dies will work with RCBS, Hornady, and Dillon progressives.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 11th, 2016

Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group

Berger Bullets Nammo Press release Nammo group Lapua brass ammunition

Breaking News: Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group

The Nammo Group, parent of Lapua and Vihtavuori, has announced the acquisition of Berger Bullets, one of the USA’s leading bullet makers. With Berger Bullets joining the Nammo Group, this teams America’s ultra-premium bullet-maker with what is arguably the world’s most respected cartridge brass and ammunition-maker. This is huge news. For competition shooters this may be a “marriage made in heaven”. Many top shooters, including champions like Bryan Litz and John Whidden, are already shooting Berger bullets in Lapua brass. This merger will make it easier for the two companies (Berger and Lapua) to optimize the performance of factory ammo, as well as to optimize brass for use with Berger match projectiles.

A spokesman for Lapua said that Lapua will continue to make bullets in Europe while Berger will conduct its regular operations in the USA: “Lapua will still make bullets, and it will be ‘business as usual’ for Berger at this time. There are no plans to change production sites to consolidate product lines. Berger will continue to operate as an independent business, just under the Nammo umbrella.” NOTE: This acquisition will be subject to regulatory approvals by U.S. governmental authorities.

On firearm industry analyst believes this merger is a “win-win” for both Berger and Nammo: “This will help Berger export more product to the European market while it will give Nammo a stronger connection to the huge U.S. firearms market, expanding Nammo’s North American customer base”. Nammo president/CEO Morten Brandtzæg concurred, stating: “Having Berger Bullets on board is the perfect match for Nammo. Their products, which are complementary to our other premium brands, will strengthen our group’s strategic position in the U.S. commercial ammunition market.” This acquistion WILL include Berger’s ABM Ammunition and J-4 Jackets product lines.

Here is the press release issued by the Nammo Group, which is headquartered in Norway and has 2,100 employees in 12 countries:

Berger Bullets Nammo Press release Nammo group Lapua brass ammunition


Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 6 Comments »
October 10th, 2016

Bargain Finder 56: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Amazon.com — RCBS Rockchucker Supreme Press, $126.99

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $126.99 — a very good deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime. We’re not fans of the Rock Chucker’s priming system but most serious reloaders use a separate priming tool.

2. Midsouth — 17 HMR V-Max Ammo, $10.45 for 50 rds

17 HMR Hornady Midsouth V-Max Vmax Sale

Need 17 HMR ammo for your varmint safaris? Then grab this Hornady V-Max ammo while you can at $10.45 for a 50-round box. This is a great price. Other vendors are selling the same Hornady ammo for as much as $15.00 per box. We’ve used this ammo and it was very accurate out of both semi-auto (Savage A17) and bolt-action (CZ 455) 17 HMR rifles.

3. Aero Precision — Upper and Lower Stripped Receivers, $189.99

AR16 stripped upper lower Aero Precision sale

If you want to build your own AR for varminting, self-defense, or competition, here is a great value for the basics. Right now Aero Precision is offering a combo set of AR15 Stripped Upper Receiver PLUS AR15 Gen 2 Stripped Lower Receiver all for $189.99 with free shipping. The upper and lower are both machined from from 7075-T6 aluminum forgings and have a tough, Cerakote finish. This upper/lower set features 0.250″ takedown pin holes and M4-style feedramps. Both upper and lower take standard AR15 components so you can choose from a wide selection of trigger groups.

4. Grafs.com — Jewell BR Trigger 1.5-3.0 oz. $179.99 ($20 Off)

AR16 stripped upper lower Aero Precision sale

The Jewell trigger is still probably the most commonly-used trigger in benchrest competition. Right now at Grafs.com you can get a Remington 700-compatible Jewell benchrest trigger for $179.99 — that’s $20.00 of the regular price. This single-stage trigger adjusts from 1 ounce to 3 ounces pull-weight, and has a crisp, precise release. This will fit Rem 700 actions as well as Rem-compatible custom actions. This trigger does NOT have a safety and it is NOT recommended for hunting applications. (Sale tip from EdLongrange.)

5. Cabelas — Howa 1500 Mini-Action in .223 Rem, $349.99

Howa Mini Action 1500 Cabela's .223 Rem Varmint rifle

Here’s a good deal on a great little rifle. Right now at Cabela’s you can get the Howa 1500 Mini-Action in .223 Rem for just $349.99. That’s a bargain — other vendors are charging $500.00 or more for this rifle. The Howa 1500 Mini Action is nearly an inch shorter than a Rem 700 short action, making for a nice, compact carry-around varminter. Your Editor checked out the Howa Mini Action Rifle at SHOT Show. The bolt opens and closes VERY smoothly (way better than most mass-produced bolt guns). The two-stage HACT trigger is excellent — it’s plenty light, with a crisp release and no annoying spring-loaded blade in the middle.

6. Amazon — Discovery Scope Level $12-$16 (1″, 30mm, 34mm)

Optical Rifle Scope bubble level Discovery 30mm 1 inch 34mm Amazon

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This Discovery scope level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It is available with three inner diameters to fit scopes with 1″, 30mm, or 34mm main tubes. The 1″ version is just $11.99 while the 30mm model is $13.95 and the large 34mm version is $15.95. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product: 89% of verified buyers rated this five stars.

7. Eabco.com — Pillar-Bedded Laminated Stock for Savage

E Arthur Brown Eabco Savage Thumbhole Stock Laminated

For a Savage-based general purpose rifle, this Laminated Thumbhole Savage Stock is a good choice, and a fine value at just $175.00 including installed pillars. (Most bargain-priced laminated stocks do NOT include pillars). This stock fits Savage actions with detachable magazines. There are four color options: Camo laminate (shown in photo), Brown Laminate, Gray Laminate, and walnut color.

8. RCBS — Buy Green, Get Green Rebate

RCBS Reloading Press Rebate Green

RCBS is running a very attractive Rebate Program currently. If you spend $300.00 on qualifying products you get a $75.00 rebate. Spend $50 and get a $10.00 Rebate. This program is limited to one (1) rebate redemption per calendar year, with a maximum of $75.00. CLICK HERE for more information. NOTE: To qualify, you must supply completed RCBS rebate coupon, original UPC barcodes from package, and original cash register receipt and/or dated, itemized sales invoice.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 10th, 2016

Controlling Grip on Bullet — Why Bushing Size is Only One Factor

case neck bushing reloading die tension bullet release

Many novice hand-loaders believe that neck bushing Inside Diameter (ID) size is the only important factor in neck tension. In fact, many different things will influence the grip on your bullet and its ability to release from the case neck. To learn the ins and outs of neck tension, take some time and read this article carefully.

Neck Tension (i.e. Grip on Bullets) Is a Complex Phenomenon
While we certainly have considerable control over neck tension by using tighter or looser bushings (with smaller or bigger Inside Diameters), bushing size is only one factor at work. It’s important to understand the multiple factors that can increase or decrease the resistance to bullet release. Think in terms of overall brass-on-bullet “grip” instead of just bushing size (or the internal neck diameter in non-bushing FL dies).

Bullet grip is affected by many things, such as:

1. Neck-wall thickness.
2. Amount of bullet bearing surface (shank) in the neck.
3. Surface condition inside of neck (residual carbon can act as a lubricant; ultrasonic cleaning makes necks “grabby”).
4. Length of neck (e.g. 6mmBR neck vs. 6mm Dasher).
5. Whether or not the bullets have an anti-friction coating.
6.The springiness of the brass (which is related to degree of work-hardening; number of firings etc.)
7. The bullet jacket material.
8. The outside diameter of the bullet and whether it has a pressure ridge.
9. Time duration between bullet seating and firing (necks can stiffen with time).
10. How often the brass is annealed.
11. Amount (length) of neck sized (e.g. you can size only half the neck).
12. Interior diameter of bushing, or neck section of non-bushing die.

— and there are others…

One needs to understand that bushing size isn’t the beginning and end of neck tension questions, because, even if bushing size is held constant, the amount of bullet “grip” can change dramatically as the condition of your brass changes. Bullet “grip” can also change if you alter your seating depth, and it can even change if you ultrasonically clean your cases.

Redding neck bushingsIn our Shooters’ Forum a reader recently asked: “How much neck tension should I use?” This prompted a Forum discussion in which other Forum members recommended a specific number based on their experience, such as .001″, .002″, or .003″. These numbers, as commonly used, correspond to the difference between case-neck OD after sizing and the neck OD of a loaded round, with bullet in place. In other words, the numbers refer to the nominal amount of interference fit (after sizing).

While these commonly-used “tension numbers” (of .001″, .002″ etc.) can be useful as starting points, neck tension is actually a fairly complex subject. The actual amount of “grip” on the bullet is a function of many factors, of which neck-OD reduction during sizing is just one. Understanding these many factors will help you maintain consistent neck tension as your brass “evolves” over the course of multiple reloadings.

Seating Depth Changes Can Increase or Decrease Grip on Bullet
You can do this simple experiment. Seat a boat-tail bullet in your sized neck with .150″ of bearing surface (shank) in the neck. Now remove the bullet with an impact hammer. Next, take another identical bullet and seat it with .300″ of bearing surface in another sized case (same bushing size/same nominal tension). You’ll find the deeper-seated bullet is gripped much harder.

PPC lapua brassNeck-Wall Thickness is Important Too
I have also found that thinner necks, particularly the very thin necks used by many PPC shooters, require more sizing to give equivalent “grip”. Again, do your own experiment. Seat a bullet in a case turned to .008″ neckwall thickness and sized down .003″. Now compare that to a case with .014″ neckwall thickness and sized down .0015″. You may find that the bullet in the thin necks actually pulls out easier, though it supposedly has more “neck tension”, if one were to consider bushing size alone.

In practical terms, because thick necks are less elastic than very thin necks, when you turn necks you may need to run tighter bushings to maintain the same amount of actual grip on the bullets (as compared to no-turn brass). Consequently, I suspect the guys using .0015″ “tension” on no-turn brass may be a lot closer to the guys using .003″ “tension” on turned necks than either group may realize.

Toward a Better Definition of Neck Tension
As a convenient short-cut, we tend to describe neck tension by bushing size alone. When a guy says, “I run .002 neck tension”, that normally means he is using a die/bushing that sizes the necks .002″ smaller than a loaded round. Well we know something about his post-sizing neck OD, but do we really have a reliable idea about how much force is required to release his bullets? Maybe not… This use of the term “neck tension” when we are really only describing the amount of neck diameter reduction with a die/bushing is really kind of incomplete.

My point here is that it is overly simplistic to ask, “should I load with .001 tension or .003?” In reality, an .001″ reduction (after springback) on a thick neck might provide MORE “grip” on a deep-seated bullet than an .003″ reduction on a very thin-walled neck holding a bullet with minimal bearing surface in the neck. Bushing ID is something we can easily measure and verify. We use bushing size as a descriptor of neck tension because it is convenient and because the other important factors are hard to quantify. But those factors shouldn’t be ignored if you want to maintain consistent neck tension for optimal accuracy.

Consistency and accuracy — that’s really what this all about isn’t it? We want to find the best neck tension for accuracy, and then maintain that amount of grip-on-bullet over time. To do that you need to look not only at your bushing size, but also at how your brass has changed (work-hardened) with time, and whether other variables (such as the amount of carbon in the neck) have changed. Ultimately, optimal neck tension must be ascertained experimentally. You have to go out and test empirically to see what works, in YOUR rifle, with YOUR bullets and YOUR brass. And you may have to change the nominal tension setting (i.e. bushing size) as your brass work-hardens or IF YOU CHANGE SEATING DEPTHS.

Remember that bushing size alone does not tell us all we need to know about the neck’s true “holding power” on a bullet, or the energy required for bullet release. True bullet grip is a more complicated phenomenon, one that is affected by numerous factors, some of which are very hard to quantify.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 9th, 2016

John Nosler — Pioneer in Advanced Bullet Design

RIP John A. Nosler

John Nosler lived 97 years, passing in 2010. During his long lifetime, John was an iconic figure in the shooting world. Considered a true pioneer in bullet and ammunition design, Nosler developed the famous Partition bullet in the 1940s. Born on April 4, 1913 in Brawley, California, John built his business from scratch. He founded his bullet company in 1948, and was considered to be one of the great innovators whose designs literally created the premium bullet category and influenced ammunition manufacturers worldwide.

Moose-Hunt Inspires Partition Bullet Design
While hunting in Canada, John experienced a bullet failure on the hide of a mud-caked bull moose. He then began developing a revolutionary new projectile, which he called the “Partition”, because of the barrier that separated the bullet into two sections. One year later, John and a friend traveled back to British Columbia with his new Partition bullets, which were designed to provide deep penetration and expansion. The men bagged two moose with two shots, and the rest is history.

Nosler Partition Bullet John Nosler

In recognition of his contribution to the shooting sports industry, John was the unanimous choice for the inaugural 2007 NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award. The award was the highlight of a long and fruitful career. Even though he officially retired in 1988 when his son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Joan Nosler purchased the company, John still managed to come to the office on a daily basis until his health declined.

Today, John’s son Bob Nosler still presides over the company as president and CEO of Nosler, Inc., based in Bend, Oregon. Along with bullets, the company now produces cartridge brass, loaded ammunition, and hunting rifles.

To learn more about John Nosler and his bullet designs, get your hands on Going Ballistic, a “Professional Memoir” told by John Nosler to outdoor writer Gary Lewis. CLICK HERE to hear a short John Nosler audio clip or to order the book from the author.

John Nosler remained an avid hunter and shooter even late in life. Gary Lewis recalled that, at age 92, John Nosler attended the opening of a new shooting range outside Bend, Oregon. Even in his nineties, Nosler managed to drill two shots inside nine inches at 1000 yards. John Nosler leaves a legacy that will benefit hunters and shooters’ nationwide. The John A. Nosler Endowment of The NRA Foundation, sponsors the NRA’s Basic Rifle Training Program which instructs novices in safe rifle handling.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
October 8th, 2016

Full-Length Sizing Die Fit — Diagnosing Stiff Bolt Lift Problems

Resizing Die Alex Wheeler Shoulder Bump Die fitting Full-Length

In this video, gunsmith Alex Wheeler explains how to ensure that your full-length sizing dies fit your brass properly. With many cartridge types, it’s not unusual for factory dies to be slightly large in the bottom section. When the diameter of a FL-sizing die is too large near the base, this can leave the bottom section of fired cases “unsized”, with the result that you can have extraction issues and stiff bolt lift, or what Alex calls “clickers”. At the same time, it’s not unusual for dies to over-size fired cases at the shoulder (i.e. reduce the shoulder diameter by .004″ or more).

We strongly recommend that all hand-loaders watch this video, particularly if you load cases 6+ times with relatively high-pressure loads.

Alex explains that a key dimension is the diameter of a fired case 0.200″ above the case head. If your die does not size your fired cases at this point, you should get a FL die that does. This could be a custom die ground to fit your chamber, or it could be a “small-base” die specifically designed to “hit” the bottom section of the case. Alex also notes that some FL dies have an inside chamfer at the mouth of the die, right at the very bottom. (See video at 3:55). This can leave the section of the case right above the extractor groove unsized, which can also lead to “clickers” and stiff bolt lift.

Paint Your Brass to Find Problem Areas
If you are having stiff bolt lift or extraction issues, Alex explains that you can “paint” your brass with magic marker (or dye-chem), and then place the case in your chamber. On the “hot spots” where the case contacts the chamber wall, the marking will rub off, allowing the brass metal to shine through in the problem area(s). This will illustrate where you need better sizing from your die.

“You can ink up the case with some magic marker or dye-chem. If you are getting clickers, go ahead and mark up the case and chamber it and see where it’s wearing. This will help you diagnose [whether the problem] is coming from the base, is it coming maybe from a score in the chamber… it can even happen at the shoulder although that’s pretty rare. Usually the dies size enough at that point.”

Did you find this video helpful? View more informative Tech Tip Videos on WheelerAccuracy.com.

Video Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
October 7th, 2016

Is the .284 Shehane Inherently Accurate? You Better Believe It

F-Class Reloading .284 Winchester Win Shehane Accuracy

If you look at that 5-round group you might think it was shot with a 6 PPC or maybe a 6mmBR. But no, this was done with heavy 180gr Berger Hybrid bullets and the .284 Shehane, an improved version of the .284 Winchester. In fact, this impressive sub-quarter MOA group was shot while fire-forming with a very well-worn barrel!

Gun builder Ryan Pierce of Piercision Rifles explains:

Here’s a 5-shot 0.191″ group at 100 yards with my .284 Shehane fireforming loads. This barrel has 2200 rounds through it. It had 2000 as a straight .284 Win and then I set it back to .284 Shehane to form brass with. This was the first five rounds through it after I cleaned it after the last match. [The load was] 180 Hybrids with 54.0 grains of H4831 SC.

Ya, I figured why not I had some old barrels laying around so I just chopped 2″ off the back and 1″ off the front and chambered it up as a Shehane. Had 1000 pieces to fireform and didn’t want to do all that on a brand new barrel.

My fireform loads are going 2765 FPS. I have a 29″ barrel also though since it’s a setback. Once you get it formed I would push it faster than that or I wouldn’t even bother with the Shehane. My old straight .284 load at 2890 fps had ES spread in single digits for 10 shots. I figured if I get it up to 2935-2950 fps that will be a point or two saved in a several day match.

.284 Winchester Shehane Reamer Print PT&G

Fellow .284 Shehane shooter Erik Cortina notes that the .284 Shehane has a velocity edge over the straight .284 Win because it holds more powder: “The Shehane has more capacity than the .284 Winchester. Ryan is using 54.0 grains simply as a fire-forming load. Typical load for a Shehane is around 57.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831 SC.” By blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc, with long barrels.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 5 Comments »
October 3rd, 2016

Case Diagnostics — How to Spot Problems with Cartridge Brass

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

Ever wondered what caused a particular bulge or marking on a case? And more importantly, does the issue make the case unsafe for further use? Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks offers some insight into various issues and their causes in this article from the Sierra Blog.

Diagnosing Problems with Cartridge Brass

by Duane Siercks, Sierra Bullets
I was handed a small sample of .223 Rem cases the other day and was asked if I could comment on some marks and appearances that had been noticed as they were sorting through the cases. I will share what was observed and give you what would seem to be a cause for them. These were from an unknown source, so I have no way of knowing what type of firearm they were fired in or if they were factory loaded or reloaded ammunition.

Example ONE: Lake City 5.56, Unknown Year
Case #1 was seen to have a very rounded shoulder and split. Upon first look it was obvious that this round had been a victim of excess pressure. The firearm (perhaps an AR?) was apparently not in full battery, or there was possibly a headspace issue also. While taking a closer look, the primer was very flat and the outside radius of the primer cup had been lost. High pressure! Then I also noticed that there was an ejector mark on the case rim. This is most certainly an incident of excessive pressure. This case is ruined and should be discarded. See photo below.

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

Example TWO: Lake City Match 1993
Case #2 appears very normal. There was some question about marks seen on the primer. The primer is not overly flattened and is typical for a safe maximum load. There is a small amount of cratering seen here. This can be caused by a couple of situations.

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

Cratering is often referred to as a sign of excess pressure. With safety in mind, this is probably something that should make one stop and really assess the situation. Being as there are no other signs of pressure seen with this case, I doubt that pressure was unsafe. That leads us to the next possibility. This can also be caused by the firing-pin hole in the bolt-face being a bit larger than the firing-pin, and allowing the primer to flow back into the firing-pin hole causing the crater seen here. This can happen even with less-than-max pressures, in fact it has been noted even at starting loads. Always question whether pressure is involved when you see a crater. In this situation, I lean toward a large firing-pin hole. This case should be safe to reload.

Example THREE: R-P .223 Remington
Case #3 appears normal with one exception. There are two rings seen about one half inch below the base of the shoulder. These rings are around the circumference of the case, one being quite pronounced, and the other being noticeably less.

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

As we do not know the origin of the firearm in which this case was fired, it does seem apparent that the chamber of the firearm possibly had a slight defect. It could have been that the reamer was damaged during the cutting of this chamber. I would suggest that the chamber did have a couple of grooves that imprinted onto the case upon firing. This firearm, while maybe not dangerous should be looked at by a competent gunsmith. In all likelihood, this case is still safe to use.

Example FOUR: R-P .223 Remington
Case #4 has no signs of excess pressure. There is a bulge in the case just ahead of the case head that some might be alarmed by. This bulge is more than likely caused by this case being fired in a firearm that had a chamber on the maximum side of S.A.A.M.I. specifications. There is actually no real issue with the case. Note that the primer would indicate this load was relatively mild on pressure.

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

If this case was reloaded and used in the same firearm numerous times there might be a concern about case head separation. If you were going to use this case to load in an AR, be sure to completely full-length re-size to avoid chambering difficulties. This case would be safe to reload.

CLICK HERE for MORE .223 Rem Case Examples in Sierra Blog

It is very important to observe and inspect your cases before each reloading. After awhile it becomes second nature to notice the little things. Never get complacent as you become more familiar with the reloading process. If ever in doubt, call Sierra’s Techs at 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Case Diagnostics Blog

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
September 26th, 2016

Bargain Finder 54: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Amazon — Caldwell Long Range Target Camera System, $349.49

Amazon Caldwell Precision Long Range Target System Cam Camera

Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands. You get a very capable system for under $350.00 (Amazon price includes free shipping for Prime members). You can also get this system from Midsouth for $357.02 (shipping extra).

2. Midsouth — Lyman BoreCam Digital Borescope, $222.46

Bargain Deal Lyman Borecam Midsouth Shooters

Note: We are repeating this special because it is the best deal we’ve found on an excellent product in high demand. The Lyman BoreCam is an electro-optical borescope with a digital display. You can record “stills” on a SD card. This is one of the hottest products on the market right now — and users really like the BoreCam (although some wish the digital view-screen was larger). Midsouth Shooters Supply now has the Lyman BoreCam for $222.46. Grab it while you can at that price. Other online vendors are charging a LOT more (e.g. MidwayUSA price is $259.99).

3. Amazon — AR500 Steel 8″-Diameter Gong, $19.95 Delivered

Reactive Target AR500 Steel Gong Free Shipping 8 inch 8

We like reactive targets. It’s fun to “ring steel” and see a target move instantly when hit. For just twenty bucks (including shipping), it’s hard to go wrong with this 8″ AR500 Steel Gong. The 8″-diameter size is big enough for zeroing at 200 yards, yet offers a nice challenge at 500 yards and beyond. There is also a 6″-diameter model for $16.00.

4. CDNN — Browning A-Bolt 300 Win Magnum, $499.99 (+ Rebate)

Browning A-Bolt 300 Winchester Win Mag Magnum

Here’s a rifle with a smooth three-lug action and good trigger that can take any game in North America. The Browning A-Bolt is justifiably respected as a solid hunting rifle. The 300 Winchester Magnum chambering offers serious hitting power, even at long range. This rifle, with a blued barreled action, normally retails for $600.00+. Now it’s on sale for under $500.00. To sweeten the deal even more, right now Browning is offering $50 CASH BACK on Browning centerfire rifles purchased between August 1, 2016, and September 30, 2016. CLICK HERE for $50.00 REBATE FORM.

5. ULINE.com — 200 Pairs of NRR32 Ear Plugs for $19.00

deals week bargain ear plugs ULine Corded Protection

Every shooter needs good hearing protection, and when you buy in bulk you can save big. Right now Uline.com is offering 200 pairs of NRR32-rated tapered foam ear plugs for $19.00. That’s a steal. Corded (linked) models are $36.00 for 200 pairs. This Uline offer is a great way to supply your local shooting club or youth marksmanship training program. NOTE: This deal expires 10/9/2016.

6. Natchez — 1k Rounds Blazer 9mm (Brass Cased), $199.99

9mm Blazer Brass Cased

This is quality, CCI made-in-USA ammo with reloadable, brass casings. We have used this CCI-made Blazer 9mm ammo in Sig, HK, and Glock pistols and it performed very well. This stuff won’t last long at this price (less than $0.20 per round). If you need 9mm practice ammo, order soon — this very same 1000-round case of Blazer 9mm ammo costs $60.00 more at MidwayUSA. Blazer Brass is loaded in boxer-primed, reloadable brass cases for added value.

7. Midsouth — Lyman 50th Edition Reloading Manual, $19.70

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

Here’s a good deal on the new Lyman 50th Ed. Reloading Manual. Our Forum members have rated this as the best Loading Manual for starting hand-loaders. This 50th Edition, the first to be produced in full color, includes more load data, and covers more cartridge and bullet types than ever before. This handbook has a strong heritage, starting with the Ideal/Lyman reloading manuals from the early 20th Century. Midsouth offers an excellent price — MidwayUSA sells this for $24.99.

8. Amazon — Yes4All 36″x16″ Gun Cleaning Mat, $9.99

Amazon cleaning mat $9.99

Every gun owner should have a work mat to protect valuable firearms during cleaning and maintenance operations. Right now you can get a quality 36″x16″ mat for under ten bucks. The non-slip polyvinyl chloride (PVC) surface won’t harm gun’s finish, and its absorbent features keep the fluids from going through your work surface. This week Amazon is offering the Printed Version (shown above) for $9.99 and a Plain Black Version for just $8.09. That’s an excellent value either way.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
September 19th, 2016

Bargain Finder 53: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Cabela’s — Rem 700 ADL Varmint, $309.99 with 10% Off Coupon and Remington $50.00 Rebate

OK, here’s the deal of the year for hunters. You can get a complete Remington 700 ADL Varmint Rifle in 22-250 or .308 Win for $309.99. That’s less than you might pay for a used Rem 700 action by itself. Here’s how it works. The current Cabela’s Sale Price is $399.99. Use online discount code STOCKUP16 to knock 10% off the price. That brings it down to $359.99. OK, there’s more — now through September 30, 2016, Remington is offering a $50 Mail-in Rebate on Rem 700 ADLs. When you get the $50.00 back from Remington, your net cost for this rifle is $309.99. CLICK HERE for Remington Rebate INFO.

IMPORTANT: Remington $50.00 Rebate valid on purchases made from 8/1/16 through 9/30/16. All Rebate requests must be postmarked by 10/29/16.

2. Midsouth — Alamosa Gun Case for 50″ Scoped Rifle

Allen Alamosa gun case Midsouth 50

We’ve been looking for a jumbo, well-padded soft case like this for a long time. Something big enough to hold long-barreled match guns, with enough padding to protect nice finishes and enough room for tall scopes. We are impressed with the new Alamosa Gun Case from Allen Company, which holds guns up to 50″ in length. We measured a 28″-barreled bench gun and this case was just big enough. If you have an adjustable buttplate, muzzle brake, or tuner, you might need a longer case (measure your rifle before ordering the Alamosa case). There’s a lot to like with the Alamosa case. The pockets are large and the shape provides plenty of room for big optics. You can purchase this case from Midsouth for $43.05, or from Amazon.com for $48.46 with free PRIME shipping.

— Extra-wide design to accommodate bi-pods and large scopes
— Multiple External Pockets
— Rugged Endura fabric with soft-knit lining
— Lockable zippers, padded handle

3. Cabela’s — 10% Off Guns & Ammo + Free Shipping ($99 Min)

Cabelas.com Cabela's Firearms Ammunition gun sale 10% off free

Cabela’s is having a big Sale on Firearms now, in advance of hunting season. You’ll find very competitive prices on rimfire and centerfire rifles. To make things even better, with a $99 minimum order you can get 10% Off plus FREE shipping with CODE STOCKUP16. This promo applies to ammunition as well (minimum order $99.00). If you need rifle, pistol, or shotgun ammo, the FREE Shipping offer can save you quite a lot. NOTE: This offer expires 10/2/16 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT), so place your orders soon.

4. CDNN Sports — HK 416 .22LR Rimfire Rifle, $379.99

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week .22LR rimfire discount HK 416 ar15 tactical rifle ammo sale bargain

If you are looking for an AR-type .22 LR rifle for cross-training and rimfire tactical matches, the HK 416 is a fine choice. Made by Walther under license, these HK 416 D145RS rimfire rifles are accurate and reliable. This is a good deal at $379.99! The HK 416 normally sells for $550.00 to $600.00. One purchaser writes: “Great .22. I have had this gun a couple of months and have put about 500 rounds of 5 different brands of ammo through it. Not one FTE. I have shot other brands that can’t get through one 30-round mag without a failure.” CLICK HERE for Product Details.

5. Bullets.com — Norma .22LR Ammo (Match 22 & Tac 22)

Norma Match 22 Tac .22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition bullets.com

Need quality .22 LR rimfire ammo at an affordable price? Consider Norma. Most folks think Norma only produces centerfire ammo and cartridge brass. As a result, people haven’t been looking for Norma rimfire ammo. Their loss is your gain. Accurate, reliable Norma .22 LR ammunition is in-stock right now at leading online vendors. This is good quality ammo, made in Europe. Bullets.com has Norma Tac-22 ammo in stock at $5.25 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL7819). In addition, Bullets.com offers Norma Match-22 ammunition at $7.50 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL11887).

6. Amazon — RAVPower 22000 mAh Battery Bank, $39.99

RAVPower Battery Charger 22000 mAh USB chrono LabRadar

This is one of the most powerful, fast-charging USB-type power banks you can buy. Rated at 22000 mAh, it has 50% more “juice” than many units selling for around $35.00. This RAV Power machine charges up quickly and boasts three “intelligent” ports for optimal charging of smartphones, iPads, tablets, and other devices. After looking at a number of competitive battery banks, your Editor bought this RAVPower 22000 mAh unit to charge his own phone and iPad. It can deliver a total current output of 5.8A (2.4A max per port), allowing it to charge two iPads and one iPhone 6s at optimal charging speeds. This unit can also power a LabRadar Chronograph for a full weekend of shooting (6-7 hours per day).

7. Walmart — Stack-On 24-Gun Security Safe $554.59

Stack-On Walmart Security gun safe bargain roll back combination lock

Here is a very good deal on a decent 55-inch-high Stack-On Safe that offers a lot of capacity for the money. The claimed capacity is 24 long guns, that might work for smaller, unscoped rifles or shotguns. For scoped rifles, you might fit a dozen comfortably. There are convertible shelves that can hold handguns, optics, or other valuables. This safe will be delivered to your location — it is not available for in-store pick-up. Shipping surcharge applies. External Safe Dimensions are 55.00″ High x 29.25″ Wide x 20.25″ Deep. Shipping weight is 436 pounds.

8. Midsouth – Triple Rimfire Spinner Target, $18.88

Birchwood Casey spinner Target Rimfire .22 LR

For pure plinking fun, it’s hard to beat rimfire shooting at reactive targets. We’ve used this inexpensive Rimfire Spinner target, and it has proven easy to set up and durable. We like the fact that there are three target diameters (3 5/8″, 2 1/4″, 1 5/8″) — that let’s new shooters get their confidence. You can set this spinner target close for pistols or at 50 yards with .22 LR rifles. This Birchwood Casey Target is also offered by Amazon.com for $19.99 with FREE Prime Shipping.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 18th, 2016

Why MVs Supplied with Factory Ammo May Be Unreliable

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

Why You CANNOT Rely on the MV Printed on the Ammo Box!
When figuring out your come-ups with a ballistics solver or drop chart it’s “mission critical” to have an accurate muzzle velocity (MV). When shooting factory ammo, it’s tempting to use the manufacturer-provided MV which may be printed on the package. That’s not such a great idea says Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Don’t rely on the MV on the box, Bryan advises — you should take out your chrono and run your own velocity tests. There are a number of reasons why the MV values on ammo packaging may be inaccurate. Below is a discussion of factory ammo MV from the Applied Ballistics Facebook Page.

Five Reasons You Cannot Trust the Velocity on a Box of Ammo:

1. You have no idea about the rifle used for the MV test.

2. You have no idea what atmospheric conditions were during testing, and yes it matters a lot.

3. You have no idea of the SD for the factory ammo, and how the manufacturer derived the MV from that SD. (Marketing plays a role here).

4. You have no idea of the precision and quality of chronograph(s) used for velocity testing.

5. You have no idea if the manufacturer used the raw velocity, or back-calculated the MV. The BC used to back track that data is also unknown.

1. The factory test rifle and your rifle are not the same. Aside from having a different chamber, and possibly barrel length some other things are important too like the barrel twist rate, and how much wear was in the barrel. Was it just recently cleaned, has it ever been cleaned? You simply don’t know anything about the rifle used in testing.

2. Temperature and Humidity conditions may be quite different (than during testing). Temperature has a physical effect on powder, which changes how it burns. Couple this with the fact that different powders can vary in temp-stability quite a bit. You just don’t know what the conditions at the time of testing were. Also a lot of factory ammunition is loaded with powder that is meter friendly. Meter friendly can often times be ball powder, which is less temperature stable than stick powder often times.

3. The ammo’s Standard Deviation (SD) is unknown. You will often notice that while MV is often listed on ammo packages, Standard Deviation (normally) is not. It is not uncommon for factory ammunition to have an SD of 18 or higher. Sometimes as high as 40+. As such is the nature of metering powder. With marketing in mind, did they pick the high, low, or average end of the SD? We really don’t know. You won’t either until you test it for yourself. For hand-loaded ammo, to be considered around 10 fps or less. Having a high SD is often the nature of metered powder and factory loads. The image below is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting: Volume II.

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

4. You don’t know how MV was measured. What chronograph system did the manufacturer use, and how did they back track to a muzzle velocity? A chronograph does not measure true velocity at the muzzle; it simply measures velocity at the location it is sitting. So you need to back-calculate the distance from the chrono to the end of the barrel. This calculation requires a semi-accurate BC. So whose BC was used to back track to the muzzle or did the manufacturer even do that? Did they simply print the numbers displayed by the chronograph? What kind of chronograph setup did they use? We know from our Lab Testing that not all chronographs are created equal. Without knowing what chronograph was used, you have no idea the quality of the measurement. See: Applied Ballistics Chronograph Chapter Excerpt.

5. The MV data may not be current. Does the manufacturer update that data for every lot? Or is it the same data from years ago? Some manufacturers rarely if ever re-test and update information. Some update it every lot (ABM Ammo is actually tested every single lot for 1% consistency). Without knowing this information, you could be using data for years ago.

CONCLUSION: Never use the printed MV off a box of ammo as anything more than a starting point, there are too many factors to account for. You must always either test for the MV with a chronograph, or use carefully obtained, live fire data. When you are using a Ballistic Solver such as the AB Apps or Devices integrated with AB, you need to know the MV to an accuracy down to 5 fps. The more reliable the MV number, the better your ballistics solutions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 17th, 2016

How It Works: Wet Tumbling Cartridge Brass with Stainless Media

Cleaning brass cartridge cases STM stainless pins media tumbling

On our main Accurateshooter.com website, you’ll find a comprehensive review of the STM system for cleaning cartridge brass with stainless media. To clean brass with stainless media, start with five pounds of small stainless pins sold by StainlessTumblingMedia.com. Place these along with a gallon of water, a little liquid cleaner, and two pounds of cartridge brass in a rotary tumbler, and run the machine for one to four hours.

CLICK HERE for Stainless Media Brass Cleaning System Review

Forum Member Tests STM System
Our reviewer, Forum member Jason Koplin, purchased the STM media and a new Thumler’s Tumbler. He then tested the STM cleaning procedure on his own brass, including some extremely dirty and tarnished “range pick-up” brass. Jason was thoroughly impressed with how well the STM process worked — as you can see from the “before and after” photos below. Brass which looked like it was ready for the scrap heap was restored to “like-new” appearance. The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass. Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.

stainless tumbling Media review video

stainless tumbling Media review video

You’ll want to read Jason’s full review which shows more before and after images. The full article features a “how-to” video created by Forum member Cory Dickerson, the young man who pioneered the stainless tumbling process and founded STM. The video shows how to load brass, media, and cleaner solutions into the tumbler, and how to separate media from brass once the tumbling is done.

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